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Guide to Updating your Resume

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Your resume is your first impression with a potential new employer. Make sure it’s a great first impression with an updated resume that showcases your experience and skills! Whether you’re just starting your job hunt or a veteran job seeker, here’s a painless overview on how to update your resume.

Looking for how to update your resume in general or specifically on Wavely? Continue to read our quick step-by-step guide on how to make your resume shine.

Why is it important to update your resume?

As you progress in your professional career, you’ll use new tools, earn credentials, and build out more projects. Your resume should change with you. It’s important to reflect your growth on your resume because it’s your opening conversation. When you meet a new person, do you start talking about what you did 20 years ago? Unless they specifically asked you about your early days, you talk about what you’re currently doing. It’s the same with your resume.

Highlighting your most recent and relevant experience shows you’re active in your field. Employers love seeing candidates with recent activity! Being active shows you’re on top of industry advancements and trends. The business ecosystem changes quickly. One of a company’s most important assets is its people. And they need people that can adapt too. 

Especially in the tech industry, programming languages evolve and developers create new platforms to push the limits. From email to chatbots and websites to apps. Where will we be in another 10 years? 

How often should you update your resume?

You are actively looking for a job.

Update your resume as soon as you have a new skill, qualification, or relevant experience to share.

The more involved you are with groups, events, and credentials, the more frequently you’ll be updating your resume. And these updates can take a few minutes max. Being active in your community shows you’re open to trying new things and that you’re not living in a bubble. Employers want to see your personality and initiative. And they find it encouraging to see your personal interests bleed over into your professional career. They want to see your passion!

You are currently employed and not looking for a job.

Update your resume twice a year. You never know when a new opportunity will come along. A lot happens in six months! It’s enough time to complete projects at work and track results. You can complete a new certification or renew a license. And you’re contact information can change.

Though you may love your current role, don’t wait too long to update your resume because you may forget about some of the incredible work you’ve done. It’s good to make a record of your achievements while it’s fresh in your mind.

Even with established corporations, there’s uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring as more startups enter the business ecosystem and disrupt industries. Remember Borders, Blockbuster, and Toys R Us? They were giants in their industries until new companies, like Netflix and Amazon, came in with more convenient ways of serving their customers. Even giants fall. Be prepared to enter the job market at a moment’s notice.

“I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?”

– Thomas Watson, IBM

The faithful resume. The one page that opens doors for you. Are you ready to open new doors? Join Wavely to find jobs and chat instantly with employers!

What to update on your resume

Review all areas of your resume and see if any of the information is outdated or if you can add new experience. Remove antiquated phrases, make sure your formatting is consistent, and proofread for typos. It’s good practice to read your resume out loud to catch awkward phrasing or unclear sections.

  • Contact information
    Summary
  • Education and credentials
  • Work experience
  • Skills, tools, software
  • Relevant accomplishments
  • Hobbies and interests

We suggest you modify the format of your resume to best showcase your experience and talents for the role you’re applying for. You don’t have to include all of these sections in your resume. These are just the inspiration to get you going!

You’re a recent college graduate.

If you’re a recent graduate, include volunteer work and hobbies you’ve done that showcase skills relevant to the role you’re looking for. For example, if you lead an event in a school coding club, include it on your resume to show your leadership capabilities. Include contests, awards, and scholarships you’ve won.

You have work experience

If you have work experience, expand on your most recent job. Think of projects that you’re proud of and how your role was instrumental in achieving results. Include how you collaborated with team members and other departments.

You’re an entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for a part time or full time job, include businesses you’ve made, even the ones that failed. Mistakes, especially big ones, show you’re willing to take risks and responsibility. And if you approach them with an open mind, they’re a learning opportunity, too.

You’re a freelancer

Side gigs and freelancing are gaining popularity. Companies are recognizing that a degree doesn’t mean you can do the work. Recently IBM, Apple, and Bank of America removed the college degree requirement from their job descriptions. Universities arguably aren’t designed to prepare students for jobs. Even if they were, the education system faces a huge challenge to keep up with the rapid pace of the business environment.

Your education isn’t limited to college. Have you taken an online course or bootcamp? Are there credentials you can earn for the role you’re seeking? What are popular tools used by your profession and do those tools offer training programs?

Hands-on experience is the most valuable. Because in business it’s more than theory – it’s practical. You’re selling a real product or service to real people, so it has to work. If it doesn’t, you’re out of business.

Connect the volunteer work or projects you’re doing for clients with the next career step you’d like to take. If you made a gaming app for your friend’s son to play, include it in your resume or your personal website, if you have one. If you have a personal website with examples of your work, include a link to it in your resume, just make sure your website is updated too.

Contact information

Make sure recruiters can reach out to you with new opportunities. Update your phone number and email. If you’re applying for remote jobs, you can include your Skype or other international-friendly call platform.

Summary

The summary is your elevator pitch. If you had 1-2 minutes to describe who you are to a stranger, what would you say? Make it concise and use full coherent sentences. Update your summary to reflect what you’re passionate about and what you excel at.

Education

If you’ve earned a new credential or license, add it to your resume. If you’ve been working for a few years, shed the high school GPA and standardized test scores. If you completed an online course, even if it’s not officially accredited, include it to show you’re proactive in learning new skills to excel in your role.

Work Experience

You’re work history isn’t just about what you do from day to day, it’s about what you achieve. Add quantitative metrics, if you have them. Your accomplishments in the workplace are what will make you stand out from other candidates with the same skills.

If you don’t have a lot of work experience, it’s fine to describe your part time work and volunteer experience. It shows you’ve collaborated with others and are willing to contribute to projects.

Skills and tools

Add new software, platforms, and tools you’re using. Even if you don’t use a technology every day, if you’re comfortable using it, add it to your resume. You never know what specific software a company is already using or what they’ve been thinking of trying but they don’t have the expertise to launch yet.

Don’t list your skills by “Expert, Intermediate, Beginner” levels. Your goal with your resume is to get your foot in the door. Don’t sell yourself short. Plus, everyone has a different ideal image of what an expert can do. While you may think you’re intermediate in Java, a company can see you as an expert. When you’re in an interview, you can share examples of how you’ve used your skills and knowledge.

Relevant accomplishments

Was your app featured in TechCrunch? Did you launch a local hack-a-thon? Do you have relevant patents, publications, or inventions? The possibilities for what you can achieve are limitless. Even if your current work environment isn’t fertile for exploration, there are contests, events, and the brave new digital world that you can apply your energy to outside of the office.

Hobbies and interests

Wrote a book or created a video series about how to code? Keep the hobbies you share in your resume relevant to the job. If you’re applying for a web developer position, being a member of your local frisbee club is interesting, but not relevant, unless the company is a sporting goods store or frisbee manufacturer. If you’re no longer active in a meetup, remove it, and include new ones that you’re active in.

There are a lot of ways to present yourself on your resume depending on your industry, role, and career path. Check out more tips on how to write a resume.

How to update your resume on Wavely

On Mobile App

  • Open the Wavely app and go to your Profile by clicking the person icon in the bottom right corner.
  • Select “Upload My Resume”
  • Select “Upload via Mobile”
  • Choose your resume document. You’ll be directed to a preview page of the document. Make sure it’s your most recent resume.
  • Click “Use this Resume” and you’re all set.

On Desktop

  • Go to wavely.com and log in. You’ll be directed to a “My Resume” tab.
  • Click “Upload” and select your resume file.
  • Accepted file types are doc, pdf, png, and jpg. Make sure the file size is no larger than 10 MB.

Via Email

  • Open the Wavely app and go to your Profile by clicking the person icon in the bottom right corner.
  • Select “Upload My Resume”
  • Select “Upload via Mobile”
  • The email you used to create your account will be populated. You can change the email address you want to upload your resume through here.
  • You’ll receive an email from us asking you to reply with an attachment of your resume.
  • Simply reply and attach a doc, pdf, png, or jpg file of your resume. Make sure the file size is no larger than 10 MB.
  • And that’s it! We’ll send you a notification when your resume is up.
Content Creation Manager at | + posts

Evan Daniels is the Content Manager at Wavely. Coffee and hip hop enthusiast, he mainly covers changes in recruitment, job seeking, and marketing.

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